For the past 25 years the Rotary Club of Fort Collins has honored a Teacher of the Month. The Breakfast Rotary Club and the Foothills Club soon joined in the process and the three clubs today are providing this program.

Each year each participating club selects from among its Teacher of the Month honorees one special  teacher who is designated its Teacher of the Year. Choosing from among so many talented professionals is difficult.

For a time the three clubs regarded the program as a contest among the three and awarded one teacher the title of Teacher of the Year. The Poudre School District was given the difficult and unwelcome task of choosing among the three to select only one of them to be Teacher of the Year. Thanks to the efforts of Garth McCann and others, this contest was abolished and we now have three teachers of the year and nobody goes home disappointed.

Today we shall hear from Brenda Hernandez, a second grade teacher at Irish Elementary, nominated by the Fort Collins Foothills club; Gabby Wymore, who teaches history at Blevins Middle School; and Jennifer Martinez, who teaches music at Bacon Elementary School. Dr. Sandra Smyser will also provide some remarks.

A special Oktoberfest meal has been catered for us. Our Drake Center room will be crowded, so Rotarians are urged to proceed quickly through the buffet lines.

Satellite Members met on Wednesday, October 3rd at Lirano's Wine Bar.  Jennifer Brooks gave her Classification Talk.  Jennifer, Kelly Kettler and Kerrie Luginbill were all awarded their Blue Badges.  There was a discussion on ways the Satellite Members could support causes already being worked on by members and agreement that one of the November Satellite programs would include training for the Four Way Test in schools so that Satellite Members could be involved in that activity this year.  The next meeting is Wednesday, October 17th at 5:30pm at New Belgium Brewery, and will include a facility tour and tasting.

Last week RCFC heard from Betsy Strafach, CEO and cofounder of 3Hopeful Hearts, a service for parents and others who have experienced  the loss of a child.  Three Northern Colorado women (two of whom had lost a child) came together in 2008 and formed this organization under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Wolfelt (Ft Collins resident and pioneer in grief management). Starting under the wing of PVH, they became their own nonprofit in 2012. They self-describe as  grief companions, and work closely with counselors, first responders, UC Health and funeral services.
Their clients range from  parents with a miscarriage to the elderly parent dealing with the loss of an adult child.
Through support groups, candlelight vigils, infant portraits and remembrance walks they "come along side" parents, potentially changing their trajectory from the day of loss through their future of lifetime grief. A video of a few of their clients helped us appreciate their life altering intervention.
They sound like angels to me.
October 3, 2018 Committee Chair Kathy Nicol and Committee member Sally Lee presented a $2500 Community Grants check to Lutheran Family Services, to support their Parents Education and Support program, teaching safe and effective discipline methods, appropriate developmental expectations and healthy communications methods.    
October 3, Past District Governor Bill Emsley presented Past President Jeanne Fangman with RCFC's 2017-18 Presidential Citation award.  Clubs receiving this citation must achieve specific goals related to Rotary’s three strategic priorities: to support and strengthen clubs, focus and increase humanitarian service, and enhance Rotary’s public image and awareness. Congratulations RCFC and thanks Jeanne!!
This month RCFC honored Gina Spoden as Cadet of the Month.  Gina was congratulated by Committee Chair Warren Wilson, and accompanied by her commanding Air Force ROTC officer.  
October 3, three new RCFC members were awarded their Blue Badge, having completed the various requirements.  New Blue Badge members are Jean Lamm, Harry Mueller and Chuck Ulfers.  Please congratulate all three new Blue Badge Members!
On October 3rd,  Jim Wilkins re-enacted Gov Ralph Carr, saying he based his talk on the book “The Principled Politician”, by Adam Schrager.  The talk went through his life as Governor, how he refused to give in to "Jap Fever" and the issue of the interment camps during WWII.  While Governor Carr felt very strongly that it was not right to intern American citizens, he did agree to take Japanese Americans because he felt they would be better treated in Colorado than neighboring states.   It was reported that neighboring states had threatened to kill any Japanese sent to their state.  Wilkins concluded with how we as Coloradans should be proud of this past governor, who refused to give in to bigotry and lost his next election for Governor as a result.  

On Wednesday, September 26, RCFC hosted Brad Abrahamson, MD, a physician at Integrative Sports Medicine LLC in Fort Collins.  He has published a book in Kindle format entitled “Inside Injury Diagnosis: 25 Transformative Cases in Sports Medicine.” 

First he summarized the problems of modern medical treatment - how medicine is sick care, not health care.  Many physicians match a drug to the symptoms.  Patients need simple affordable health care. He pointed out that private insurers deny 1 in 7 claims. Insurance company CEOs are paid very high salaries and then given bonuses for patient denials. The complexity of the system adds stress to patients, doctors, and staff.

Dr. Abrahamson suggested a new model, Integrative Medicine, in which patients and doctors are partners in the healing process. The doctor and patient consider all factors in finding the root cause of disease rather than just treating the disease.  In other words the treatment addresses the whole person. The doctor must be open to consider new paradigms based on good science.


Wednesday September 19, RCFC hosted Fort Collins City Manager, Darin Atteberry to discuss the City's recent Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and what it means for residents.  Atteberry started by taking about the change to focus on "budgeting for outcomes", using community safety as an example.  While the data can show how safe city residents actually are, the necessary outcome must be "how safe do you feel"?   

Atteberry spoke of his personal journey after hearing a speaker challenge "What's the one thing you believe that on one else believes.  That is your opportunity."  Atteberry's belief is that government at all levels, can be great and he is working to prove it at the city level.   As part of the Malcolm Baldridge process, the city developed the vision "to provide world-class municipal service through operational excellence and a culture of innovation", and carefully chose benchmarks against the the best rated cities across the US.  The Malcolm Baldridge, he noted, is a process about continuous improvement, not a destination of perfection.  The key is to "shine a flashlight" into all areas, encouraging and expecting continuous improvements.  

Wednesday, September 12, Past President Jeanne Fangman inducted our newest member, Jill Maasch.   Jill is a senior account manager for Mantooth Marketing Company, and is sponsored by Justie Nicol.  Welcome Jill!

September 12, Yolanda Schlabach, Executive Director of Zoë Ministries, Inc. and member of the Human Trafficking Coordinating Council for Delaware started by stating that Delaware's program to address human trafficking is based on the program developed in Larimer County.  Larimer County's programs are focused on reducing 'demand' through sting operations and helping victims via non-profits such as Free Our Girls and First Responder Response Initiatives.  Schlabach also showed and read several news articles, showing the results of sting operations in Northern Colorado.  According to Schlabach, all prostitution is human trafficking.  She also noted that human trafficking happens in other industries such as agricultural workers, where migrant workers are legally imported, then kept in virtual slavery, charged exhorbitant fees and kept from returning home.  

Focusing on the sexual aspect of human trafficking, she noted the pattern of recruitment, and the psychological and physical trauma experienced by the victims.

CSU Symposium 2018:


Beth's organization:


Larimer County:


Free Our Girls:


Satellite Members met on Wednesday, September 19th at CooperSmith's, enjoyed a view of an intense rain and hail storm and discussed their upcoming Community Service Events for September and October.  There was also a brainstorming session for a potential beneficiary of a Centennial Grant.  The next meeting is Wednesday, October 3rd at 5:30pm at the Lirano Wine Bar, 3600 Mitchell Drive (lower level of The Cellar wine store).
September 5, Past President Jeanne Fangman inducted RCFC newest member, Kathy Hawkins, sponsored by Kathy Nicol.  Hawkins is a retired Controller for the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District.  Welcome Kathy - Live long and serve well!
Wednesday September 5, STEM and Community Grants combined to give a $6000 grant to Pretty Brainy, and female-focused STEM organization.  Accepting the check was CEO and Founder, Heidi Olinger, presented by STEM Chair Robin Steele.
The CSU Cadet of the Month for September, Colin Gahmnkos, was introduced by Captain Jon Parker, hosted by Warren Wilson.  Gahmnkos spoke of his goals, and thanked RCFC.  

Last week John L Coleman, Jr., CEO of Boy Scouts of American, Long Peaks Council, spoke on the "Evolution of Scouting".  The audience included many former Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and one Eagle Scout.  Coleman was introduced by BSA LPC Development Director Dawn T-Baumgartner.  There are currently 2.3 million scouts including over 10,000 in our region.

The big news is the start of "Family Scouting", currently available in the Cub Scout age range (K-5) and starting next year, available to ages 11-18.  John addressed some of the misunderstandings regarding changes (eg, this is not a "co-ed" organization but separate and equal activities for both genders i.e., dens are all male or all female).  This new concept is apparently well-accepted as indicated by the number of girls and women signing up.  
A bit of BSA's history was shared. Rotary was congratulated for it's BSA support (Paul Harris was a highly decorated scout). The values and goals of scouting remain unchanged - character building, leadership skills, service to the community - to name a few. A recent focus has been to target recruitment to multicultural, underserved communities.  Scouting's focus on the outdoor experience for youth from all socioeconomic levels has become more important in this age of electronics.
Finally we saw pictures of the many  local Scouting facilities starting with Red Feather Scout Ranch (many of our members were familiar with this site).
The evolving organization will continue it's mission and teach values which remain as pertinent today as they did almost 108 years ago.
The question and answer time provided excellent expansion of today's presentation.

Wednesday August 29, RCFC celebrated an annual ritual with the Johnny Matsushima Centennial Flat Iron Steak Fry at the Farm at Lee Martinez Park.  Steaks were obtained by John Matsushima, including a sampling of the famous Wagyu (Kobe-style) beef.

Wagyu (meaning "Japanese Cattle") steaks are prized worldwide for their astounding marbling, tenderness and juiciness. While the name "Kobe" is reserved exclusively for Wagyu cattle raised in region of Kobe, Japan - cattle raised in the US must be referred to as Wagyu or Kobe-Style.


Sid Fahsholtz, CPA, of Brock and Company, presented his analysis of the recently passed 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  His high-level summary was that, for both individuals and businesses, individual circumstances will determine whether they will be winners or losers.  Summary of some of the significant changes:

Most tax brackets have been lowered by 1% to 3%; Personal Exemptions have been eliminated; Standard Deduction has been approximately doubled; Alimony: not deductible by payer, not income to recipient; Medical Deductions: threshold 7.5% of AGI in 2018, 10% of AGI after; Property, State, & Local Income Taxes: deductible up to $10,000 if MFJ; New Mortgages: interest deduction capped at $750,000; Home Equity Debt: no interest deduction through 2025 except if $ is used for improving your home; Charitable Deductions: limited to 60% of AGI; contributions from IRA RMD not counted as income and not deductible; Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions: eliminated; Moving Expense Deduction: eliminated; Estate/Gift Tax: now $15,000 per year; $11m total for life; Pass-Through Income: treatment seems to have gotten more complex; Child Tax Credit: up to $2000 for each child with higher phaseout levels; Casualty & Theft Losses: no deduction; Kiddie Tax: earned income at rates for singles; unearned income at brackets applicable to trusts & estates; Net Operating Losses: limited to 80% of taxable income, no carryback option, indefinite carryforward period; Obamacare Individual Mandate: permanently repealed; Corporate Tax Rate: flat tax rate of 21%; Alternative Minimum Tax: effectively eliminated; Fringe Benefit Expenses: entertainment deductions disallowed except 50% for meals; Employer-Paid Family/Medical Leave: at least 12.5% credit if rate of payment is 50% or greater of normally paid wages.  

Nationwide, 65% of fourth graders are below proficient in reading.  Colorado and Wyoming are only slightly better.
This year's District 5440 theme is literacy.  What is the District doing about literacy? 
  • On October 6 a District Literacy Symposium will be held from 9-3 at the Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.
  • $15,000 has been set aside for Literacy Centennial grants of up to $1,000 each.
  • A competition will select the top three literacy projects in the district with prizes of additional grant funds for the winners.  
  • Successes will be celebrated at the Foundation Dinner in April, 2019.

On August 15, Dave Boon, member of the Fort Collins Rotary After Work club and Past President of the Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Board of Directors gave an interesting presentation on the History of RYLA/YRYLA and the current status, followed by short talks by two recent awardees.  

RYLA was started in Queensland, Australia in May 1960, and brought to the Rocky Mountain region in 1987.  At a formation meeting in District Governor Charlie Peterson's house, apparently Susan Peterson, overhearing a conversation regarding who would attend said, "I think this is a fabulous idea to have a RYLA, Charlie, but you WILL allow girls!"  RYLA and YRYLA have been coed since the start, and were so 1 year prior to Rotary inducting it's first woman.  

RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) includes 11th or 12th grade students; Young RYLA (YRYLA) targets students entering the 8th grade, and RYLA+ focuses on physically challenged students.  Rocky Mountain RYLA's current $300,000 budget provides camp for 372 RYLA participants, 283 Young RYLA participants, and 9 RYLA+ participants.  The three groups run 5 conferences each summer, facilitated by 143 volunteer Senior (Rotarian) and Junior (past participant) Counselors donating 20,000 + hours.

President Steve Laine announced the establishment of two new scholarships, funded by Ada Chen.  The scholarships, named in honor of Ada's late husband, Dr. Yung Hai Chen, will provide yearly $3000 scholarships to CSU and $2000 scholarships to Front Range Community College.  Both scholarships are funded for 5 years by a generous gift of $30,000 from Ada.  Ada told an emotional story of coming to the USA and CSU, the many blessings she has received since, and recounted how much Yung Hai loved Rotary.  Ada received a standing ovation for her comments.  Thanks for your leadership and caring, Ada.  Editor's Note:  In a previous version of this story, Dr. Yung Hai Chen's name was misspelled.  We apologize for the error.
Bill Timpson introduced Lindsay Pointer, who has been studying Restorative Justice in New Zealand on a Rotary Peace Fellowship.  
Last week we were treated to the soothing and familiar radio voice of Neil Best, President and CEO of Community Radio for Northern Colorado, when he presented a topic on everyone's mind, "Fake News" and it's history in the US.  Perhaps there is comfort when we consider the problem is not new.  George Washington told Alexander Hamilton in 1796 he was leaving office primarily because of the effects of a hostile press. In the 18th century it was clear that reporting in the NY Sun was designed for the sole purpose of increasing circulation.  In the early 19th century the terms "yellow journalism" and subsequently "tabloid journalism" were needed to describe the current journalistic content.  Totally fabricated stories persist: fast forward to gunshots fired because of "the child slavery ring run by Hillary Clinton and associates out of a pizza shop", and we were reminded such misinformation can have "real world" consequences.
Locally, the fight for subscribers and survival lead to "yellow journalism" in the 1920's when the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News fought for reader share.  Next, Neil highlighted the importance of the economics of the news business and it's influence on what we hear and read.  Staff have been cut at most news outlets as the internet supplies information at lightning speed. News organizations debate whether readers are "citizens" or "consumers".  A pivotal change in our view of the validity of federal government supplied information took place during the Vietnam War and the Nixon administration.  Journalists could no longer take such information at face value and became more investigative.
We were given some tools to use to search through the "information" for the "knowledge". For example, we can check to see if the material has been edited. We can look for the "center" when we see extremes in reporting (think Fox vs MSNBC).  It behooves us all to do the work to find the facts and teach our children and grandchildren to navigate the morass of information that bombards us daily from so many sources.  Finally, in his only political comment, Neal stated "we (journalists) are not the enemies of the people".  The "newsroom" is most often staffed by dedicated honest people; some are giving their lives in this cause.
Meeting Information

Welcome to our Club!

Meetings: Wednesday Noon
Drake Center (Lunch)
802 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, CO  80526
United States of America
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Immediate Past President
To get your announcement, any other news, or edits into the Rotogear or website please email complete information to editor.rcfc@gmail.com.
Thank You! 
Upcoming Events
October 10, 2018
Oct 08, 2018
October 3, 2018
Sep 30, 2018
September 26, 2018
Sep 23, 2018
September 19, 2018
Sep 12, 2018